As ITV's Mr Bates vs The Post Office shone a light on the Horizon IT scandal, all eyes have shot to the ongoing Post Office inquiry, which has been established to gather "a clear account of the implantation and failings of the Horizon IT system at the Post Office over its lifetime".


Following the limited series's resounding success, the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, announced that the government was to quash wrongful Post Office convictions.

As of Friday 2nd February, 101 convictions have been overturned, with more than £34.49 million paid in compensation - but one star of the series, Monica Dolan, has said she hopes the government's plans aren't just a "grand gesture".

Speaking to at the Radio Times Covers Party 2024, Dolan said: "I would love to see the subpostmasters compensated, and I suppose the danger is [that] the government is doing its compensation of people who've had their criminal convictions overturned, but we don't want to fall into the trap of it being about grand gestures."

The actress, who portrays Jo Hamilton in the series, noted that there were many subpostmasters who had personal and financial stakes in the Post Office, and urged people to think about them.

More like this

"There are many many people who were putting their own money into the Post Office because their contract said they had to do that, and then just thought, 'My business isn't working, I'm gonna sell it at a loss. I'm gonna walk away,'" she continued.

"So those people sold their businesses, lost their money, their money is still gone - and what's happened to them?"

John Hollingworth as James Hartley and Toby Jones as Alan Bates sitting together in a courtroom looking tense
John Hollingworth as James Hartley and Toby Jones as Alan Bates. ITV Studios

Echoing Dolan's thoughts, co-star Will Mellor previously that it's important more is done for the victims of the scandal, noting that "talk is cheap".

"All these people wanted to be was heard for so long, and no one wanted to listen, because they were skint little people, as Alan Bates said in the drama," he added.

"And now we've [seen] what we can do in this country, when we come together and go, 'No, this is wrong, get something done, make people accountable for what they did.' And remember the money they took off these people - that's not compensation, that was their money.

"What price do you find people losing their life, going to prison or not be able to remember their childhood because of the treatment they had to have for depression?"

Last month, Post Office chief executive Nick Read released a statement to the victims, saying: "We sincerely apologise to victims for the devastating impact of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal on the lives of so many.

"We are doing all we can to provide redress and urge anyone affected who has not yet come forward to do so."

Read more:

See more photos from the Radio Times Covers Party 2024 in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, on sale now.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office is streaming on ITVX now. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


Try Radio Times magazine today and get 10 issues for only £10 – subscribe now. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.